Coldstream mayor pondering position
His name will be somewhere on the 2014 ballot, but Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick hasn’t quite decided which seat he’ll be seeking in the November civic election.
After serving six years at the helm of council, Garlick could very well return to a councillor’s position.
“I see myself participating in council in some way in the future,” said Garlick. “I don’t know if it’s the mayor’s position or not.”
As for the current council, Garlick is pleased with the faces around the table.
“We have a lot of professionals on our council. We bring forward a lot of different points of view.”
But he admits there’s one person he’d like to see back.
“I miss Bill Firman.”
Garlick figures most councillors will leave it until the fall to decide if, when and what position they might seek in November.
“This current council is a good group of people but I’m not sure if all of them will run again.”
Ultimately, says Garlick, it’s the community who determine’s who their future leaders will be.
“The people decide whether you participate or not.”
But the future of Coldstream council could be in question with the Greater Vernon Governance Society pushing for amalgamation.
Garlick hasn’t been convinced that amalgamation would benefit the region.
“We are well served in this area by this structure we have,” said Garlick, adding that amalgamation in many other areas hasn’t proven popular.
“I find it very confusing considering what we have accomplished with our partners.”
When it comes to possible cost savings, Garlick also isn’t convinced amalgamation is the way to go.
“If anything it works the opposite way.”
Although amalgamation would create single services (such as regional departments), Garlick points out that they are still going to need to increase in capacity to serve the larger area. That could also lead to reduced services for taxpayers, he adds.
“I doubt you’ll have the same service levels in places like Coldstream.”
Instead, Garlick feels the status quo is serving the region well, especially considering all that has been accomplished or is being worked on recently such as the new parks agreements, master water plan, sports complex project and specific projects such as the Highway 6 realignment which have a regional benefit.
“A lot of things that have been outstanding, for years in some cases, have got a direction or are reaching completion,” said Garlick.
Coldstream is also eager to see some additional projects in the works, specifically the proposed Tolko pellet plant in Lavington.
“It could mean around 50 jobs.”
Plans are also being worked on for the Trintec development on Sarsons Road and Selkirk Drive. The focus of the project has shifted to include more professional services.
“Things like a doctor’s office, a dentist office closer would be beneficial,” said Garlick. “We want to provide some services that better serve the community.”